March 5, 2024

Cordillera’s elite trail-runner Sandi Menchi Abahan once again proved her mettle in the international scene as she ruled the 50-kilometer Borneo Trail Classic on Oct. 15 to 16 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.

Abahan clocked in at eight hours, 40 minutes, and 10 seconds, edging 11 others in the female side of the only Asian stop of the Spartan World Tour Series.

FASTER, STRONGER — Cordillera top female ultra-trail runner Sandi Menchi Abahan topped the distaff side of the 50-kilometer Borneo Trail Classic held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia recently. She ranked sixth overall with five international male runners ahead of her. — Contributed photo

The Baguio-raised ultra-runner placed sixth overall, following the 8:00:42 time of male fifth placer Simon Rotich.  

Trailing Abahan in the female side were Malaysian runners Shamiera Auther at 10:57:50 and Siao Ai Lim at 11:09:21 time.

Also raising the Philippine-flag in the event was John Ray Onifa clocking at 6:13:24. He struggled through the wet jungle but still outpaced leading Kenyan Kipchirchir Lel who eventually settled for the second place at 6:37:40, and Sapirin Sumpingat 7:08:27.

Onifa and Abahan earned slots to compete in the elite category of the Spartan Trail World Championship STWC.

Onifa is all set to be the first representative of the country in the World Mountain Trail Running Championships in Thailand on Nov. 3 to 6.

Abahan is also representing the country as part of the Obstacle Course Racing National Team in the World’s Highest OCR Championship in Mt. Everest this November.

The Borneo Trail Classic is one of nine stops across the globe under the STWC 2022. There are five distances namely seven kilometers (K), 10K, 21K, 50K (Trail Run Championship), and 100K (Trail Ultra Championship).

Racers participating in the 50K and 100K will gain the opportunity of competing in elite category of STWC to compete for prize money at each race and championship points on a global leaderboard for a grand prize payout. – Ofelia C. Empian